‘Pro-Gun’ Trump and Sessions on Wrong Side of Binderup Case

How is fighting against restoration of the right to bear arms consistent with “pro-gun” leadership?

“The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday dealt a blow to gun control advocates by opening the door for some convicted felons to challenge a federal ban on them owning firearms,” Reuters reported Monday. “The justices let stand a lower court’s ruling that uniformly denying felons whose crimes were not serious the right to own guns violated the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment, which protects the right to ‘keep and bear arms.’”

Curiously, SCOTUS, on its Sessions v. Binderup docket page, notes:

“Jun 26 2017 Petition DENIED Justice Ginsburg and Justice Sotomayor would grant the petition for a writ of certiorari.”

Just as curiously, at least for some gun owners supporting Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions, the administration sided with the Brady Center, arguing “the appeals court ruling would force judges to make case-by-case assessments of the risks possession by convicted felons, a job for which they are ill-suited. The administration added that too many felons whose gun ownership rights were restored for various reasons have gone on to commit violent crimes.”

That’s hardly a standard for ensuring individual liberty. Case-by-case is supposed to be how it works. And the case of one of the ban challengers hits home with me personally:

“[Julio] Suarez was convicted in Maryland in 1990 of carrying a gun without a permit. Suarez was given a suspended jail sentence and a year of probation.”

Decades ago, when I was managing a manufacturing facility in Southern California, I received a threat on my life from two employees whose conduct required termination, and who it turned out had gang affiliations. Officers investigating after the pair left informed me they could talk to them, but due to lack of actionable evidence, there was really nothing more they could do until the threat was acted on.

I asked what I was supposed to do, because I was generally the last one out, locking up and going to the parking lot alone in the evening. What the one officer said to me actually changed my life and set me on the path of gun owner rights advocacy:

“Sir, if I were you, I’d carry a gun.”

I came up with all kinds of objections, foremost being that SoCal was no place for someone without connections to get a “may issue” permit (and that’s another case SCOTUS just ducked). The way the cop glanced at his partner stopped me mid-excuse and suddenly it clicked. They knew the score. They couldn’t protect me. Only I could. If I didn’t choose to heed the reality they were trying to explain, the consequences would be on me.

Just as there are orders Oath Keepers will not obey, there are orders citizens who would be free must choose to obey or disregard. I chose quiet civil disobedience, sensitive to and resentful of the fact that my life could be destroyed by “the law” because I refused to be a victim.  I chose to comply with the supreme Law of the Land and what I see as not just a right, but a duty to keep and bear arms – a duty California is not just ignoring, but eviscerating.

That could have been me the administration was arguing against. That’s a hell of a note for a president and AG who enjoy their positions of power largely due to the support of gun owners. It’s a hell of a note for officials who took an oath to the Constitution.

But such disconnects are hardly new.  Those around for a few years will recall the Bush the Younger administration.  His Solicitor General, Ted Olson, talked out of both sides of his mouth when he maintained the Second Amendment articulates an individual right and then urged the Supreme Court not to hear cases where that right had been denied.

An undeniable truth (well, the antis can deny it, but they’d be wrong) is that anyone who can’t be trusted with a gun can’t be trusted without a custodian. As far as released felons are concerned, if they’re still truly dangerous, Robert J. Kukla made a brilliant observation in his classic “Gun Control,” equating their release with opening the cage of a man-eating tiger and expecting a different result.

As we’ve seen, a lifetime prohibition can be imposed for something as simple as throwing keys, or tearing a pocket. And any expectation of relief is closed off at the federal level because majority Republicans (most of them supported by gun owners) can’t seem to find the political will to overturn an appropriations scheme cooked up over 25 years ago by Chuck Schumer that prevents funds from being used to restore recognition of rights.

Despite the campaign rhetoric, the administration has chosen to embrace the “enforce existing gun laws” mantra, a position championed by his “gun rights leader” advisors. They in turn are determined to bolster their “law and order” PR creds, their image and their access. That’s politically and financially more advantageous to them, even though what they’re really calling for is indistinguishable from “Enforce existing Intolerable Acts.”

It comes down to who has the king’s ear.

—–

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About Author

David Codrea

David Codrea blogs at The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance (WarOnGuns.com), and is a field editor/columnist for GUNS Magazine. Named “Journalist of the Year” in 2011 by the Second Amendment Foundation for his groundbreaking work on the “Fast and Furious” ATF “gunwalking” scandal, he is a frequent event speaker and guest on national radio and television programs.

Comments

  1. Mike 29 June, 2017, 04:28

    Your story is quite similar to my own. Three years ago my and my family received a threat on our lives and police could not do anything with it, basically. My wife was so frightened that she told me to buy a gun and I did that. I must say that I felt much safer.

    Reply this comment
  2. sealaw 29 June, 2017, 05:58

    Trump and Co., are in serious need of constitutional education – Kris Anne Hall should be invited to the W.H.

    Reply this comment
    • HLB 29 June, 2017, 08:59

      I would say that most of our government officials are in need of constitutional education, including judges.

      Reply this comment
  3. Daniel 29 June, 2017, 09:00

    Trump is a Populist, not a Conservative, and much less a Constitutionalist. His strongest point is that he’s not Hillary. But the good news is that a populist is interested in what the People say. That means he listens more than most politicians.

    Reply this comment
  4. pnoldguy 29 June, 2017, 09:07

    I’m starting to get a bad feeling about this administrations actions RE: 2nd amendment issues.

    Reply this comment
  5. J 29 June, 2017, 09:11

    The reason for the disconnect is that Justice Department lawyers are sworn to defend Federal laws whether they agree with them or not.

    Reply this comment
    • Bisley 29 June, 2017, 09:56

      Amen. I wrote pretty much the same thing, before noticing that you already had.

      Reply this comment
      • TyranniCull Industries 1 July, 2017, 14:27

        Amen? No one is allowed to enforce or defend unconstitutional legislation. Sheesh! Doesn’t anyone have the capacity for free thought anymore?

        Federal indoctrination corrupts the soul.

        Statism: The delusional belief that FREEDOM requires PERMISSION and COMPLIANCE

        —-

        The U.S. Constitution is the supreme law of the land, and any statue, to be valid, must be in agreement. It is impossible for a law which violates the Constitution to be valid. This is succinctly stated as follows:

        “All laws which are repugnant to the Constitution are null and void.” Marbury vs. Madison, 5 US (2 cranch) 137, 174, 176, (1803).

        “Where rights are secured by the Constitution are involved, there can be no rule making or legislation which would abrogate them.” Miranda vs. Arizona, 384 US 436 p. 491.

        “An unconstitutional act is not law; it confers no rights; it imposes no duties; affords no protection; it creates no office; it is in legal contemplation, as inoperative as though it had never passed.” Norton vs. Shelby County, 118 US 425 p. 442

        The general rule is that an unconstitutional statute, though having the form and name of law, is in reality no law, but is wholly void, and ineffective for any purpose; since unconstitutionality dates from the time of its enactment, and not merely from the date of the decision so branding it.

        “No one is bound to obey an unconstitutional law and no courts are bound to enforce it.” 16 Am Jur 2d, Sec 177 lat 2d, Sec 256.

        —-

        Thus, anyone who defends or enforces unconstitutional legislation, regardless of its “public approval” and “being on the books”, is a traitor to the Constitution and betrayer of their oath, period. And treason is most certainly weighed as a felony, so yeah, felonious minions of tyranny are enforcing unconstitutional “laws” in order to “felonize” a free People and steal from them their natural rights as if it were good and proper to do so.

        The truth is a double-edged sword and it cuts both ways.

        Reply this comment
  6. Daniel James 29 June, 2017, 09:26

    I have always found it odd that ones Constitutional rights can be stripped forever for a single deed with no means to ever get that right back, to me that isnt freedom and isnt right especially given that the gov can make anything illegal at a whim.

    Reply this comment
  7. Bisley 29 June, 2017, 09:52

    This is less a matter of Sessions taking the wrong side, than of doing his duty. It is the job of the Attorney General to defend the laws of the United States in court, regardless of whether he agrees with them or not. I have no idea what his personal opinion might be regarding stripping all convicted felons of their gun rights, but as long as law to that effect is on the books, it’s the job of the DOJ to enforce it and defend it. Obama directed his AG not to defend laws he disagreed with, but this was seen as an illegal abuse of power by most, since they take an oath to uphold all the laws, not just the ones they like. Justice Scalia once said that a judge who is happy with the outcome of all his decisions is not a good judge — following the law will not always take you where you want to go, but a good judge, or AG must follow it.

    Reply this comment
    • CarlosPerdue 29 June, 2017, 20:14

      BZZZ. Wrong and subversive. “I was just following orders” (or laws on the books) doesn’t cut it. The AG takes an OATH to uphold the Constitution, not mindlessly enforce and defend unconstitutional laws on the books. The CONSTITUTION is the supreme law on the books and it trumps every other law the AG is supposed to defend.

      Reply this comment
  8. Rick Young 29 June, 2017, 10:10

    As a retired 33 year Police Sgt. and an Oathkeper, I have to disagree on felons. They knew the consequences when they committed their felony.

    Reply this comment
    • StormN1 29 June, 2017, 15:28

      Although I disagree, no doubt about it: your 33 years experience carries alot of weight – as it should.

      Here in Arizona, fairly recently, a released felon shot a drugged out man to death who was bashing in the head of a police officer against the street. At first I thought it strange that, as reported, not knowing he was an ex-felon, he had first asked the officer if he should shoot. Weeks later he was on TV and our police department is now trying to get his gun rights re-installed. This guy was tattooed from head-to-toe.

      I’m a Ron Paul Libertarian. While I share the fears and concerns, I believe when a man is set free, he should be set free with no strings attached. He should be given a 100% chance. I agree it is easier said than done but those are the tough calls of living in a free society.

      Reply this comment
    • CarlosPerdue 29 June, 2017, 20:21

      Not true in many cases.

      Many victimless activities that were legal 100 years ago are now felonies.

      Also, as I learned from getting suckered by my former friends in the “3-strikes” rah rah crowd in California, there are felons and there are “felons”. I was assured that only true, bad, mens rea felons with actual victims were affected. BIG lie.

      Doesn’t it make you at all uneasy taking Schumer’s side in this?

      Reply this comment
    • TyranniCull Industries 29 June, 2017, 22:31

      What part of “shall not be infringed” do you fail to understand?

      Sic Semper Tyrannis!

      Reply this comment
    • JJM 29 June, 2017, 23:33

      Felon d/t non violent crime SHOULD NOT be compared with and thrown in same category as murderers and armed robbers. “Cruel Punishment”

      Reply this comment
  9. EAC 29 June, 2017, 10:42

    The core of the Second Amendment, from President Thomas Jefferson:
    “No Free Man shall ever be disbarred the use of Arms”.
    “It is the Right and Duty of all Free Men to be at all times Armed”.
    I don’t know any better way to state the intent and clear meaning of our Second Amendment than those few – well defined words.

    Reply this comment
    • 'Old Man' 29 June, 2017, 12:14

      Agreed. And if an individual cannot be trusted with arms, why are they free from confinement?

      Reply this comment
    • CarlosPerdue 29 June, 2017, 20:24

      That’s right. Either free or disarmed. Not both. “Felon” or not.
      I don’t care how many years anyone has in law enforcement, they need to honor the concept of liberty.
      If they’re not safe with guns, then don’t let them out.
      Don’t F with everyone’s rights to make it “safe” to let them out.

      Reply this comment
  10. Edwin Vieira 29 June, 2017, 10:44

    Part of this problem stems from the false definition of “felony”, which is used as the main basis for a deprivation of Second-Amendment rights today. If the proper constitutional definition were employed, these cases would be reduced to a relatively small, and noncontroversial, set of truly bad crimes.
    In any event, we shall see whether the Trump Administration is really committed to the Second Amendment in its response to the expected petition for a writ of certiorari in Kolbe v. Hogan (4th Cir.). If the Administration fails to file a brief amicus curiae in support of the petition we shall know what’s really what.

    Reply this comment
  11. Rick Costello 29 June, 2017, 11:17

    Hmmm… Help me out with this since Oathkeepers takes the Oath seriously. Our Constitution articulates the Amendment precluding the government from “infringing” on the Right to keep and bear arms. Our Supreme Court has stated : “Where rights (liberty) secured by the Constitution are involved, there can be no legislation which would abrogate (abolish) them.” In fact, it requires a lawful Amendment to our Constitution to remove Rights protected by it. Yet, in spite of there being no ‘lawful’ classes of Citizenship authorized by our Constitution (those having full Rights by Citizenship and those having only so many rights ‘granted’ to them by the whim of the legislatures) both the states and federal governments have legislated away the Rights of self defense, protected by the 2nd Amendment. They have “infringed” in spite of the Supreme Court ordering that “there can be no legislation which would abrogate (abolish)” said rights/liberty.

    How readily would we accept that anyone convicted of a felony at some point in their life would never again have the Right to a trial by jury or an attorney to defend them in a court proceeding, or the Right to be secure in their homes, to voice their opinion in public or to even attend church services? All of these Rights are guaranteed by the Constitution in our Bill of Rights yet, were the government’s same reasoning applied to the legislative abolishment of the Right to Keep & Bear Arms for certain Citizens they can just as reasonably say that these other Rights be no longer enjoyed by a huge segment of the population.

    For the record, in no way am I advocating criminals walking around with guns. When people are convicted of some crime they should serve their sentence. When people are under the ‘supervision’ of the state due to a conviction (either parole or probation) they are NOT free people. They are ‘allowed’ certain freedoms during their period of supervised release but are not yet ‘free’ having not served their sentence imposed for their conviction. Once their sentence is completed however, once their ‘debt’ for having been convicted of something is served, our system of jurisprudence says that these people are then free men again. Jefferson said, in his draft Virginia Constitution in 1776: “No freeman shall be debarred the use of arms (within his own lands or tenements).” Yet, the legislatures regularly pass mere ‘laws’ which disenfranchise portions of our Citizenry without going to the trouble of lawfully ‘amending’ the Constitution which might make these laws have some legal basis. If the state can reduce a person to second class status after once running afoul of the law and forever remove their Right of self defense from them, then why not (for the same reasons) remove their Right to have their home respected and its doors kicked in for random searches by the authorities? Why not bar their Right to interstate travel? Why not forever bar them from speaking out on a public issue they feel strongly about? Why allow them the same Right to a jury trial as any other Citizen? Indeed, why not deprive them of the protections against slavery for the remainder of their lives and place them in the service of the state for the remainder of their lives? They are or have been deemed ‘criminals’ thus we should afford them no protections as Citizens at all.

    Rights are not ‘privileges’ that the government take take away.

    Reply this comment
    • TyranniCull Industries 29 June, 2017, 22:53

      The government wants to overpower and beat their subjects in every fight, and their adoring fans agree. They don’t want a fair fight or an animating contest of freedom. They want to subjugate ordinary people and oppress extraordinary people, get paid in tax dollars while seeking to escape taxation themselves, be exalted as heroes of God, and go home at night to screw their wives and revel in their upcoming pay bump.

      The state just “Felonizes” willy-nilly by over-charging their accused and coercing them into plea agreements; guilty or not, as long as it’s expedient.

      —-
      No man who deserves to exist should be disarmed once freed. No man who does not deserve to exist should have to be disarmed for he should never be freed again.
      —-

      p.s. America was born of rebellion. If Patrick Henry were a “law-abiding citizen” we’d still be grovelling before the throne… Oh wait!

      Live Free or Die Trying

      Reply this comment
  12. Lord-Pi-314 29 June, 2017, 13:30

    I think what this country needs is more quiet civil disobedience in the face of unconstitutional laws. Even though you can get in trouble, you can still remind the Judge what the Supreme law of the land is, and claim to be a political prisoner of traitors who have infiltrated the government.

    Reply this comment
  13. Bobbo 29 June, 2017, 14:59

    FOLKS:
    I am usually poor to very poor @ predictions.
    My feelings about Trump pre-election & now remain the same: watch out. This guy is a media creation. For ‘some reason’ he was chosen to appear on Oprah (there’s a flag) then his popularity grew.
    As it grew he got (mysteriously? NOT) 2 television programs because he learned to act in front of a camera/he developed a popular personna.
    His previous ‘besties’ also included the Clintons…..
    He is now pulling in more CFR members into his cabal.
    In one debate he mentioned the US Constitution, saying something like it was a good idea.
    He agreed w/Hillary on gun control in one debate.
    His admin has done some constitutionally good things, some repugnant to the US Constitution.
    He impresses me as much as Pat Paulsen on you tube regarding politics-he speaks out of both sides of his mouth.
    In summation: I hope I am wrong & my prediction success ratio is usually poor; but he makes me cringe as much as Clinton did.

    Reply this comment
  14. CarlosPerdue 29 June, 2017, 21:14

    Saddest thing about the election was Gun Owners of America pissing away a golden opportunity to have the king’s ear and a seat at the table. GOA never endorsed Trump. Meanwhile the often anti-gun NRA immediately endorsed him after he got the nomination and went the extra mile to put him over the top.

    GOA — which had endorsed Ted Cruz — pandered to prissy butthurt NeverTrumps, Cruzistas, and deluge-immigration Left “Libertarians” (the latter being why GOA broke its promise and duty to take immigration into account in their grades).

    Reply this comment
  15. Ghost of Samuel Butler 29 June, 2017, 22:25

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Oaths are but words, and words are but wind.

    Reply this comment
  16. Unknown Ranger 30 June, 2017, 06:03

    Ex- felon’s ; That have done their time , for , what ever they did , should be allowed too own a gun ; Every one has a right to defend them self’s , even Ex-felon’s but , if a person is , so dangerous’ , than , they should , not be on the streets in the first place ; They’re is many ways to harm a citizen , with out using a gun , for example a car can be used to harm someone , never forget , about knives’s , club’s or , your bare-hand’s , that’s why , it’s total nonsense to deny a person , who has done their time the right too own a gun , if a person is , that dangerous ‘ , they should , not be out and about , that’s common sense ; The whole argument , about felon’s should not own guns is riddled , with delusional thinking , if , it’s paralleled , with our Constitution ” The Right to Keep and Bear Arm’s Shall not be Infringe-Upon ” , than , it’s nonsensical to use this phony argument , it’s collectivism , not individual right’s and dose not-apply , as , when it come’s to our ” Second Amendment Right’s ” , or our Constitution and the enumerations’ , of our Republic !!!

    Reply this comment
  17. Defender of constitution 30 June, 2017, 17:53

    One writer of the constitution but in that the government can remove the right to bear arms from violent criminals. Now, how does writing a bad check or pushing someone without causing injury or even someone stealing a vehicle equal a violent crime? And how can a crime that requires a sentence of say five or ten years equal a life sentence of the removal of civil and gun rights. Yes, you should not have a gun in jail or prison but, once one has served his or her time and is released and completes their probation and or parole they should have the right to vote and own a gun if they had not been convicted of a violent crime. Only violent crimes carry life sentences, why are life sentences given to non violent people with removing their rights.

    Reply this comment
    • TyranniCull Industries 30 June, 2017, 22:29

      Lots of non-violent felons are sentenced to life. Many are drug related and others are “3 Strikes” related – where even petit charges can eventually get the convicted a life sentence. Also, plenty of violent felons are falsely accused and are unjustly convicted by administrative process rather than due process. Plus, have you noticed the quality of human-being currently populating American jury pools, or benches for that matter? Due Process, my fat hairy butt!

      That said, the 2nd Amendment makes no exceptions for felons, wife beaters, or the mentally ill; all of which existed in the age of enlightenment, every age prior, and every age that followed; and all of which are Created souls with the unalienable rights fundamental to life itself.

      ***Unalienable = cannot be given up or taken away [except by biological death].

      And while it may make you feel good about yourself to oppress the “violent”, you can’t do that by setting them free. So, while the ones who continue to live violent lives upon release don’t obey those laws anyway, those who turn over a new leaf [as well as those who were never actually “guilty” of a crime to begin with] just have to live their lives at the mercy of any piece of crap who would seek to oppress them by “violent” crime or statist tyranny? I think not!

      If freedom’s just another word for “Nothing Left To Lose,” then the infringed convicted Felon is the freest of us all. Lucky them.

      Regarding “Man” and his/her “Unalienable Rights”, re-apply those timeless words of the Holy Bible the same way we do for traditional marriage vows:

      Mark 10:9 (KJV)

      9 What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

      Liberty or Death! And no, Civil Death doesn’t count – at least not in the realm of Natural Life.

      p.s. Statists: The unconstitutional infringements that you allow to be used to punish others, make up the same iron links of your own oppressive chains. May they weigh you down heavily and strain your spine, for you never were to be remembered, as countrymen of mine.

      Let Threedom Ring!

      Reply this comment
  18. Bobbie 10 July, 2017, 08:13

    I am very glad to see yahoo GO! I don’t like their opinion on fair and balanced news coverage. I would like to see news about the good things our President has accomplished since being elected instead of producing the negative they (yahoo) personally feel compelled to put above the positive.

    Reply this comment

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